In The History Of Politics, Has Anyone Everrrrr Changed Their Mind?

I’m terrible at discussing politics. I get flustered and can never remember statistics or acronyms or what happened when. The opposition will pull elusive facts (?) I have never heard of out of a hat and me with no chance to google them. Under pressure, everything I know goes out the window and muttering, “I just feel like I’m right and you’re wrong” doesn’t really cut it.

So I avoid it.

But sometimes I will make an exception and talk to my dad about politics because a) I really want to know what he and his side are thinking and b) I know he won’t attack me. Unlike some people I know who feel that loud + rudeness = correct.

The other night we went a few rounds about Trump. Finally I had to just stop and say, “You think you’re right. I think I’m right. Everyone thinks they’re right. And everyone just wants the best outcome. Doesn’t mean anyone is evil.” Ok some are evil. But most are not. The opposition is made up of our friends, our family, our spouses and our co-workers. People we like and respect in our day-to-day.

As he was leaving, he said, “I respect your opinion. But you’ll see as you get get older. Most democrats are young.”

(In case you missed that, he’s saying democrats are naive, emotional, idealist do-gooders.)

I smiled. Challenge accepted.

Have you ever tried to change someone’s mind? If you have succeeded, I definitely want to know in the comments!

photo credit: no need to argue via photopin (license)

My Acupuncturist Wants To Know When Was The Last Time I Was Happy

A friend texted me about an acupuncturist the other day.

“She’s amazing,” my friend said.

I googled her and she did seem pretty amazing. She has reviews everywhere and they are all raves. I made my appointment and sped 50 minutes to the next city to make it to the (possible) headache cure.

Geriana asked me all kinds of questions. Then took a picture of my tongue and pointed out the supposedly telling information it revealed. It sounded like she was reading my palm…but it was my tongue. I wasn’t sure about any of it. But I wasn’t UNSURE about any of it either. So we continued.

“When was the last time you were happy?” she asked.

My mind drew a blank, as it tends to do when put on the spot. I could tell she felt that my hesitation proved her point. But in that moment of hesitation, I was really wondering what exactly does she mean by happiness? I guess that’s why you always see that quote “Happiness is…”. Because it’s different for different people.

Gretchen Rubin has a great book on happiness habits called “The Happiness Project”. It’s interesting to note that there is no one set of habits that makes everyone happy. We are all unique in our happiness requirements.

What does happiness mean to you? How do you make sure you experience happiness in your life? Let’s talk in the comments!

Meet & Greet|Meat & Greet!

Come join the friendly Meet & Greet over at Niki’s place! Introduce yourself and meet cool new bloggers. See you there!

The Richness of a Simple Life

Sorry I couldn’t help myself with the name of this week’s party… We’re having a barbecue! Bring your favorite sides and sauce! I have to admit I can throw down in the kitchen whether it’s inside or out! I’ve got cold drinks in coolers for you to take your pick! Grab a plate and make your way down the table full of food! We’ve got ribs, grilled chicken, shish kebab, burgers, I’m even slow cooking veggies on the grill! I’ll leave the sides up to you because I can’t pull myself away from the grill long enough to check the table full of side dishes!

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#ThrowbackThursday: Getting Old is Hell, Obsessing About it is Even Worse

Originally published 6/15/14

I do not know how to accept getting older. I would love to be laid back and carefree about it, but I can’t seem to swing it.

Almost constantly, my thoughts run in a loop. What if no one loves me when I’m old? What will I do when I can’t get around anymore? What if I run out of money? What if I have to go live someplace awful? What if I get cancer/heart disease/have a stroke? But most importantly, WHAT CAN I DO NOW TO ENSURE THOSE THINGS NEVER EVER HAPPEN?

At least that is way in the future. Short term, I focus on vanity. I spend lots of time pondering anti aging products, procedures and tricks. Examining my reflection, trying to determine my body’s next move and how I can head it off at the pass. Am I losing eyelashes? Are my pores bigger? Is my neck getting mushy? “Everyone gets old and gets wrinkles,” says my uncle. Uh huh, everyone but me!, I think to myself.

Not very Growing Toward The Sun-nish, but an impulse that is hard for me to resist.

I asked my sister the other day, “Do you think when you’re old and wrinkled that you just become attracted to old and wrinkled men? Or do you just go along because you have to at that point?” She said, “I think your tastes change. Just like you’re not attracted to 18 years olds anymore.” I don’t know. I might have to poll some seniors.

I pin everything I can find about health and nutrition and all of those anti-aging superfoods. I listen as Dr. Oz (who is really all over the map with his advice, but ok) explains inflammation in the body and how to decrease it. I make it my life’s work to do so.

But still, I feel creaky. My back goes out. My forehead wrinkles. My hair turns gray. My neck starts to…I don’t know what my neck is doing. But I hate it.

You Take The Good, You Take The Bad, You Take Them Both & There You Have…The Facts Of Life

As I get older, I am more able to appreciate people’s strengths and be more forgiving of their weaknesses (as perceived by me, obviously). The black and white perspective of my youth has shades of gray and the judgement that comes with being newer to the world has faded. Life is full of nuances and a feast of all different people. Not everybody can be every thing.

My dad isn’t super plugged into my life, but anytime I need help he is there. He is patient, helpful and scary smart. I choose to appreciate those things about him now instead of harping on the things he lacks. He is there when I need help and can figure out ANYTHING.

When my mom died, I unrealistically wanted my sister to take her place. But she couldn’t because she’s not my mom. Instead I grew to appreciate her thoughtfulness, generosity and pragmatism. She is there in a bunch of other ways when it counts.

We have a friend of the family who is a terrible communicator and can be very difficult to deal with. But he is also generous, assisted us in caring for my mom when she was ill and is always willing to jump in and help.

Expecting people to be exactly what you want them to be seems immature to me now. I think lovingly accepting peoples’ limitations helps us accept our own, too. What do you think?

#Throwback Thursday: Once Upon A Time, We Went To See Oprah

Originally published 10/28/14….I love remembering this trip…

For as long as I can remember, my mom and I had always wanted to attend an Oprah show taping. So this summer when I saw tickets to her “Live Your Best Life Weekend” go on sale, I had to snag some. Sure they were expensive. Sure it was a 6 hour drive to Atlanta. Sure we’d miss work and school. But hey. It’s Oprah. I booked the adventure.

After we arrived and checked into our fancy Oprah weekend hotel, Hannah and I headed over to O-Town. O-Town was a little neighborhood of tents and booths filled with all things Oprah. Everything from her OWN network to O Magazine to activities promoting all of the Oprah teachings was showcased. We saw a very long line to register for a Wells Fargo VIP package to the show. It was super hot and we were sweating up a storm.

Hannah said, “Let’s register”. I replied, “It’s toooooo hot and the line is toooooo long and the chances of us winning are one in a million.” We declined to enter.

That night Oprah spoke of trials and tribulations she’s experienced in her life. It was so exciting to watch Hannah as Oprah spoke about intention, gratitude, surrender and the golden rule because I could see it all clicking with her. She was the only kid I saw in the entire stadium.

The next morning we dined on fancy Oprah weekend french toast room service and headed off for day two. In a stadium that seats 18,000 people, our seats weren’t the worst and they weren’t the best, but they were ours and we were excited. Suddenly a woman’s voice over the loud speaker.

“And the winner of the Wells Fargo VIP package is Jennifer ***** and guest!”

Huh? A light shined on us and people around us were shouting “Congratulations!” as one of Oprah’s producers whisked us away. We walked the long walk down to the floor and were stopped in front of two seats that said “RESERVED”. They were reserved for us! Necklaces with “VIP” on them were put around our necks. We kept looking at eachother in disbelief. It was like we had won the lottery.

When Oprah came out on stage, we could just about touch her. I could not believe that we had won this contest (we’d somehow entered unbeknownst to me) and were sitting in front of someone I had watched on my TV screen for over 20 years.

When we broke for lunch, the loud speaker lady came on again instructing those with VIP Saturday tags to stay put. Oprah’s producer appeared again and asked us how we were enjoying the seats. I took that opportunity to ask him what we were waiting on. He pointed us in the direction of a small group of people who were heading upstairs and told us to follow. By the time we caught up with them, the group of people were standing at the elevators waiting for the next one to arrive.

Everyone was quiet as I asked the lady next to us, “Where we were going?”

She replied, “To meet Oprah!”

“Get out!” I exclaimed not fully believing her.

The elevator transported us upstairs and behind a velvet curtain was a beautiful world of yummy buffet food, free drinks and beautiful centerpieces on white linen table cloths. After we ate and took many pictures of ourselves, it was time to get pictures with Oprah.

As our turn came up, one of the producers asked me if we were the mom and daughter who won the VIP package. I said yes as she relayed the info to Oprah. Hannah walked up to her first and said, “Thank you for inspiring me” to which Oprah replied, “Awwwww thank you for inspiring me” and gave her a big hug. They let us each have a photo alone and then one with the three of us. I couldn’t even think of a single thing to say.

As we walked around the stadium, it was like we were famous. Everywhere we went people were congratulating us. On the way to the car, a lady yelled across the parking lot, “Are you the mom and daughter who won the VIP tickets?” Yep, that’s us. And life is amazing.

Person Of Interest, I Love You So Much

I’m obsessed with Person of Interest, a show on CBS. I’m a little late to the party since it’s in it’s fifth season and I’m only on season 2. No spoilers!

Each evening I’m a guest in a wonderful land of make believe where the complete badass on the left is ALWAYS the smartest and the complete badass on the right ALWAYS wins the brawl. The smart rich guy (of whom I’m very fond, even though he is the SUPER CREEPY serial killer from The Practice) sends the other smart handsome guy (who navigates the stickiest situations without ever raising his voice above a whisper) out on do-gooder missions to save the lives of people who don’t even realize they’re in danger.

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Their missions, very growing towards the sun-nish…their methods, unorthodox. They’re like superheroes saving the world. Maybe that’s why I’m in love with it so much right now. They’re out there doing good…like many of us are trying to do…and they never ever lose.